Lighten Up Your Perfectionism

We all want to be perfect. We are told from a young age that “practice makes perfect”. So we grow up believing that if we try hard enough and practice enough times we should be successful in what we set out to do.

Well, reality sets in that we are not perfect. No matter how hard we try the results are not always “perfect”. So then we start doubting ourselves. We feel like failures. After all, there are winners or there are losers. How you play the game doesn’t seem to matter much anymore.

In this strive for perfectionism it’s hard to laugh at ourselves for being human. We’ve become obsessed about:

  • always wanting our homes to be “magazine perfect”
  • always sending the “perfect” thank-you note and sending it on time
  • always cooking the gourmet meal even when our family prefers the boxed mac & cheese
  • always responding to that email, twitter or facebook post right away even when there are more important things to do

These are just some of the things our perfectionism causes us to think “failure” instead of laughing at our human imperfections.

Perfectionism is the striving to reach a destination that doesn’t exist. So why even try to go there. Lighten up on yourself and start enjoying the journey. The journey should consist of:

  • Sending the thank-you note on a plain piece of paper if necessary.
  • Setting a timer and work a little each day at decluttering. Enjoy the process.
  • Reply to that email 2 weeks, even 2 months later. Apologize and move on.
  • If it’s something that needs a timely response (email, phone call, etc.) just respond the best you can. Don’t worry about what the person on the other end might think, that’s their problem.

We worry too much about making ourselves look “perfect” in other people’s eyes. If they expect us to be perfect then they have a BIG problem. If we didn’t worry so much about what others think then we just might enjoy life more. We could learn to laugh at our faults. Once we learn to laugh at ourselves we can come up with clever ways to compensate for those “imperfections”. Compensating doesn’t mean we are working to eliminate our faults. It means accepting our imperfections and working around them to achieve our goals. We will work at being the best we can be and that will be good enough.